There were five keys I pointed out before the game as vital for the Lions to play the role of spoiler today vs. Chicago.
Unfortunately, they aren’t doing a good job with any of them and trail 20-10 at the half.
The number that made the biggest difference in the Lions’ 13-7 loss to the Bears back in October was four Detroit Lions’ turnovers. The Lions lost the turnover differential 4-0, with two of them coming in the Bears’ red zone.
It’s more of the same today as the Bears have turned three Lions’ turnovers into 13 points.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford has been responsible for two of them with a fumble and a badly overthrown interception.
Joique Bell had the other with a fumble on a kickoff return.
The Lions aren’t good enough on offense right now to overcome turnovers.
GET TO CUTLER
The Lions have done a pretty good job pressuring Bears quarterback Jay Cutler but haven’t been able to finish the job. Cutler’s been on the run for most of the first half and fumbled because of pressure in the first quarter.
The Lions have failed to record a single sack, though.
Cutler is 8-of-15 passing for 155 yards with a touchdown pass in the first half.
The Bears scored five defensive touchdowns during their 7-1 start. But they’ve scored just twice since, both coming last week in a 28-18 win over Arizona.
They haven’t scored on defense so far in this one, but they’ve set their offense up at the Lions 24-, 23- and 10-yard lines after three Lions turnovers.
That’s almost as good as a score.
FLIP THE SCRIPT
The Lions haven’t scored once on defense this season. When they won 10 games last season, the defense scored five times.
They were given a prime opportunity to make a big play and possibly score early in the first quarter on a Jay Cutler fumble, but defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch couldn’t pick up the football. Instead, it was recovered by Bears running back Matt Forte at midfield.
At the very least if Vanden Bosch falls on the ball the Lions are looking at great field position. The Bears punted after the fumble and the Lions took over at their own 9-yard line.
The ball hasn’t bounced the Lions way very much this season. They’ll need it to bounce their way over the next 30 minutes to snap their seven-game skid.
FEED THE BEAST
Calvin Johnson already broke the single-season receiving record and has 1,915 receiving yards and five touchdowns on the season. His pursuit of 2,000 yards is off to a slow start with two catches for 23 yards in the first 30 minutes.
Johnson is currently 85 yards short of 2,000.
Kris Durham caught his first NFL touchdown pass right before the end of the half on a 25-yard connection from Stafford.
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 6 Comments »
Brandon Pettigrew’s sore ankle will not keep him out of the Lions’ season finale vs. Chicago today.
The fourth-year tight end practiced for the first time in two weeks on Friday since sustaining the injury in the first quarter at Green Bay Dec. 9. He was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report, but the ankle has responded well to treatment and he’ll try to give it a go. He’s missed the team’s previous two games.
Safety Louis Delmas and cornerback Chris Houston, who were both listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report, are active and will start.
Cornerback Ron Bartell, who the Lions signed just two weeks ago, will start at right cornerback opposite Houston. The Lions like Bartell’s size (6-1, 210) and want to see him in action before the offseason.
Rookie cornerback Jonte Green will likely play the nickel cornerback role. Green had been starting the last couple weeks at right cornerback.
Cornerback Drayton Florence is inactive. He was not listed on the injury report this week and is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Joining Florence on the inactive list for the Lions are: running back Kevin Smith, safety Ricardo Silva, offensive tackles Jason Fox and Corey Hilliard, quarterback Kellen Moore and defensive end Ronnell Lewis.
Andre Fluellen will get the start next to Ndamukong Suh at defensive tackle.
Tags: Brandon Pettigrew, Ron Bartell
Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | No Comments »